Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflection. Rewind on 2011.

Goodbye 2011. Hello 2012.
I, for one, am excited to see what the New Year brings. It's a fresh start. A new beginning.
This past year was filled with a lot of growing... both emotionally and physically. First of all, my baby turned ONE in February. I couldn't believe how quickly the first year had flown by and throughout 2011 he grew even more. By the end of this year, his vocabulary had expanded along with his personality which is bigger than life itself. Then there's Cohen. Cohen had a pretty big year too... He spent his last summer as a little kid before entering Kindergarten! Is it really time for Cohen to be a kindergartener?! I just couldn't believe it. He rocked it in baseball and soccer this year and I can't wait to see what this next year brings for him! And then there's me... Well let's just say I had a lot of fun this year... 2011 was filled with new (and old) flames, amazing friendships and even a spontaneous girls weekend in Las Vegas.
Emotionally, I found myself in a much more stable and peaceful place. It sounds funny, but when Rachell and I chose to go to Vegas that particular weekend in August, I also chose to leave the past behind there. I figured, what better place to leave some extra emotional baggage than Vegas!
2011 flew by so quickly that a lot of it seems like a blur. But just to share a little bit... here are my top 10 moments of 2011:

1. Celebrating my 27th birthday with some of my closest and best friends. 2. Watching my baby turn 1. I can't imagine missing a single experience of his beautiful life. 3. Watching Cohen play a whole season of T-ball without using the Tee! 4. Spending sunny summer days out lounging on the river with friends. 5. Ethan's first trip to the waterslides. Did I mention this kid is CRAZY!? ;) 6. CRAZY girls nights with Lindsey (I swear I need a liver transplant after each one) 7. VEGAS 8/13/11. Need I say more? 8. Him. 9. Learning photography. My camera has been like therapy. 10. Hearing Ethan say "I love you" for the first time.
Cheers to another year! ♥

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Holidays.

I'm sitting here staring at my Christmas tree, complete with lots of presents underneath it, and I can't help but be so thankful for my life and all I have in it. My life is far from perfect, but it's perfectly imperfect. I have two of probably the healthiest kids (knock on wood), I have my own personal health, a roof over my head, a comfortable lifestyle... There's just so much to be thankful for. This past week has definitely helped me to realize that.

Last weekend, my friend Amanda and I volunteered with HELP PORTRAIT, a non profit organization that provides family photos to the needy and homeless. In addition to free family photos, hair and make up is also provided. Amanda and I captured some wonderful candid moments in the hair and make up room and I even jumped in to help with the make up. One lady in particular has stayed in my thoughts since...

This particular woman was 41, homeless and pregnant. First of all, I cannot even begin to imagine what her life must truly be like and the things that she must endure every single day. I ended up doing her make up and Amanda even captured on camera the very moment that she looked in the mirror at her new self... tears in her eyes and all. I touched a life... a human being... even if it was just for those few minutes and even if it was something as superficial as making someone feel pretty, I helped to make her life better for those few minutes.

I don't know what happened to her or where she went after pictures that day. I pray to God that her and her unborn are safe and warm... One thing that I do know is it made me snuggle my kids a little extra that night, tuck them in to their beds extra warm and give them a few extra kisses.

None of us know what our future has laid out for us. I, for one, know all too well that life as you know it can change in an instant... but one thing that I do know is that I will raise my kids with compassion, love and an awareness of the world around them.

Happy Holidays. xo

Monday, December 12, 2011

Taitym: Part II.

So I just can't get enough of this baby girl! So precious!


Almost exactly a week after I shot Aimee's belly pics, Miss Taitym made her entrance into the world... talk about timing! Yesterday, we (attempted) to get some awesome newborn shots of Taitym (at 13 days old) but this little girl was SO alert, strong and stubborn. She was determined to do what she wanted and we had to work with her on her terms. Typical girl! ;) Here's just a little sneak peek of what we did yesterday!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

To be continued....

Today I shot my first ever belly photos and the fact that Aimee trusted ME to take hers made me even more nervous... I mean, it's not like we can re-shoot them... The baby is kinda coming soon and she had to make her way back over the snowy mountain passes :) For me personally, my belly pics from when I was pregnant with Ethan are some of my most prized possessions and I wanted to make sure that Aimee had something of equal quality to love and remember for herself. In a time where a mama feels the most insecure about her body, it's easy to forget exactly how beautiful it really was.
I can't wait to meet my newest little cousin Miss T in just a few short weeks (days!?)... Until then...

To be continued.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I spent a chilly afternoon in the park today shooting this adorable family... Little miss Emma was all about making funny faces and doing the "Taylor Swift heart" with her hands... but in the end, we came out with super sweet pics to enjoy!
Sweet smooches ♥
Miss E showing some loves.
Sorry kids... that's all you get for tonight! xoxo

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I have been doing more photography lately and am beginning to do photos for other people, instead of just for fun for myself. With a shoot coming up in a couple days, I decided to take Ethan on location today to play around with some lighting and check out the area. Ethan makes the pictures look good :)

I wanted him to play on the toys and have fun... but of course being the total boy that he is, he decided that the gravel and dirt was so much more interesting than all the awesome structures that he could have been climbing on.

Finally I was able to at least get him to play in the leaves a little... They're quickly disappearing and the trees are getting bare so I wanted to try to at least capture a little of what is left of fall around here...

Friday, November 4, 2011


Dear Cohen,

On Friday, November 4th, 2005 at 6:05 p.m. I fell head over heels in love with this tiny little 7 pound 11.5 ounce blue eyed baby boy who took his sweet time entering the world and now on Friday, November 4th, 2011 we are celebrating your SIXTH birthday. The past six years have been filled with love, laughter and adventure. We have been through so much together and you have been my rock and held my hand in more ways than you will ever begin to understand.

There have been times (lots of them) when we have butted heads because of our similar personalities. You remind me so much of myself which drives me absolutely insane sometimes; but it's also reassuring because I know that because of this, you will always be ok. You will always be able to make it through any situation that ever comes your way, you will never give up and you will always be strong.

For six years I have spent time worrying whether the decisions I make for you are the right ones. I wonder who you will be when you grow up. I wonder what kind of person you will become... but in the past six years, I have watched you grow from this precious little blue-eyed baby to a smart, intelligent, hilarious little man. You are so quick-witted - always ready with a comeback for anything anyone has to say to you. You are eager to learn and SO adventurous. I see a kid who is fearless, but thinks things through just enough so that you do it right the first time. I see a compassionate, loving big brother who will do anything to make sure your "lil bro" is happy and safe. I have watched you succeed in every single sport you have ever set out to do - whether it was soccer, baseball, gymnastics... or anything else that you decide you want to try.

You have made me so incredibly proud to call myself your mom. The past six years have flown by and I am so excited to see who you are going to become in the next 6 years!

I love you to the stars and to the moon. Happy Birthday to my beautiful blonde hair, blued-eyed little man.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Cohen LOVES airplanes. When I ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he'll first say football player - followed with a pilot. I think he gets it from me. So, for the second year in a row, I have taken him and Ethan on a scenic flight around Wenatchee (in a plane smaller than the one I jumped out of) and for the second year in a row, Cohen was allowed to take over the controls in air while Ethan and I watched from the backseat.

There's no better feeling in the world than be able to make your child happy by giving him an opportunity to do something that he enjoys.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


DJ AM once said: "‎"Find something you love to do so much you would do it everyday for free... then find somebody to pay you for it." In case you haven't noticed, I LOVE to take pictures. Photography is such an art... and there's nothing more beautiful than capturing the beauty that lies in that very moment and keeping that memory forever. To me, photography is at it's purest form when you are able to snap the candids. The photos where two people have no idea their photo is being taken at that very second - when their smiles or expressions are the most genuine.

Sneak Peek of some photos I did on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

FALLing into place.

I LOVE fall time. I mean, I love summertime too... the sunshine, the heat, a refreshing jump in the river... but, there's just something about fall that makes me happy. The comfortableness of jeans and a sweatshirt. The crisp morning air... even the smells. This fall, we have been incredibly, incredibly busy. Between balancing three jobs as I try to build my business, Co starting kindergarten, Ethan getting into anything and everything as he explores anything he can get his hands on and of course soccer games I'm not sure how I haven't lost my head (or my sanity) yet. This fall, Cohen started on a new soccer team and man, they are GOOD. It makes my heart so proud to see my son go out there with no fear and be aggressive with a soccer ball and have the ability to stay focused... not to mention superb coordination! {{Yes, I'm a very proud mama}}
This poor kid in the green didn't quite know what to think... Here he was so proud of himself for keeping control of the ball and trying to get it turned around back to his goal when in comes my kid (in the yellow) sliding right in in front of him and kicking the ball the to his teammate before the other kid knew what was going on. Look out David Beckham!
Even Ethan gets into the game and claps and cheers for his big bro from the sidelines! The best part is when Cohen takes a break to run over for some "Good Luck" kisses from his baby bro. These two are so in love with each other it's not even funny.

No matter how busy my life gets or how much I attempt to juggle or fit on my plate, it's the simple pleasures in my life like Co's soccer skills that bring me back. Everything in my life is finally FALLing into place... now all I need to do is find a man that is worth sharing all of this with ;)

Monday, September 26, 2011


Koyaanisqatsi. Definition: Life out of balance.
What is balance? Is balance having the perfect home? The ideal family? A successful job? Maybe... to some people.
As a past gymnast, and more recently (and presently) a gymnastics coach, I relate balance to a beam... A balance beam is four feet tall and four inches wide; yet, with courage, practice and determination skills can be perfected on this thin beam that most people can only dream about doing in a wide open space on the floor. On the flip side though, one slight miscalculation can lead to a stumble - or worse - a fall off of this Balancing structure. Sometimes those falls were the kind that you could pick yourself right back up, and others left burns and bruises and took a lot longer to find your courage again.
This is much like life. Sometimes, in life, just when you think you have found your balance one slight misstep causes you to come tumbling down. But... with enough determination, a lifetime of practice and a whole lot of courage you can pick yourself back up and be stronger than ever before.
Powaqqatsi. Definition: Life is transformation.
To transform is to change. Life is constantly changing - and if it's not, then you're doing something wrong. In my life, I refuse to settle. I have learned from my past mistakes and have grown from them. I have learned what makes me happy and what doesn't. I have learned what hurts the worst and what love feels like. I have also learned to never settle for anything less than perfect. In life, when you stop changing... stop transforming... you stop living. Never stop living. ♥

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Last night, Co went to bed a little kid and woke up this morning as a big Kindergartener while I am stuck here, as his mommy, trying to figure out where the time has gone. It feels like just yesterday that my blonde haired, blue eyed little man entered the world. Back then, it seemed like kindergarten was a lifetime away... and now, it seems like it happened in the blink of an eye. In the past 5 1/2 years I have watched this beautiful baby grow into something incredible. Co is intelligent, funny, loving, athletic... everything I could ever have wanted in a son.
I have watched his talents shine through in everything he has been involved in throughout his life: Gymnastics, baseball, soccer, MMA... and now I am SO excited to watch him excel in school. He continues to amaze me every single day and I couldn't ask for a better kid for Ethan to look up to as he grows. I love you Co-Bean.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wild Animals.

Yesterday, to celebrate the last weekend of summer before Cohen starts Kindergarten, the boys and I went to one of their favorite places: Smallwoods Harvest. Smallwoods is a petting zoo/farmers market located near Leavenworth. We try to go to Smallwoods every couple of months to visit the petting zoo and pick up some fresh produce and of course Kettle Corn - Cohen's Favorite!
Now that Ethan's a little older than the last time he visited Smallwoods, I was excited to see what his reaction would be to the animals. I thought for sure he would love them - afterall, he has grown up around animals... but when they began to make noise and poke their heads out looking for food, it scared E. He didn't know what to make of the loud sheep... or worse... the llama that spit in our face. Cohen, on the other hand, loved it like always.

The boys had the chance to run around and play on the property which is filled with wagons, bicycles and swings.

All in all, it was the perfect way to end our summer break. We can't wait to go back again in a couple of months to pick out our pumpkins for Halloween at the huge pumpkin patch! See you in October!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Remembering Kaiden (via Wenatchee World)

Kaiden Henley was a very special friend of my son, Cohen. Kaiden has forever changed our lives and has affected many in our community. Take a minute to say a little prayer for the Henley family, count your blessings and hug your babies a little extra longer. Say I love you every chance you get to anyone who deserves to hear it in your life. "The expected is what keeps us steady, it's the unexpected that changes our lives forever"

Remembering Kaiden | Local news, sports, weather, blogs, opinion, crime, obituaries, business, directory, marketplace, education, high school, family, shopping, arts, entertainment, movies, books, cooking, auto, real estate, jobs, classifieds, photos, videos, comics, contests, and mountain pass webcams from Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Chelan, Leavenworth, Waterville, Cashmere, Quincy, Entiat, North Central Washington newspaper

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sad day.

How do you tell a five-year-old that one of their closest friends had lost their life? I never in a million years thought I would be asking myself that question. I mean, five-year-olds don't die. At least not ones that you know or ones that are perfectly healthy and happy... Right?

Unfortunately, over this past weekend, the world lost one incredibly amazing little boy who gave the best hugs in the world. A freak accident at the racetrack took the life of one of Cohen's closest school friends.

So how do you tell a five-year-old about the death of their friend? Honestly and delicately. Cohen had already heard about the accident as I had been talking about it before I knew who the victim was. So, when I brought up that Kaiden was killed in an accident, he already knew what I was talking about. His response? "So... Kaiden is in heaven then?" I replied, "yes." With that, Cohen said, "I bet he was the one that made it rain today!" For a minute, I thought that maybe Cohen didn't understand, or worse, he was just too young to care... but then his humor quickly turned into "I will miss him and it makes me sad that his mommy won't get to see him anymore." Now that's the compassionate, caring son that I know and love.

I'm still not sure if he completely understands just how permanent death really is and I'm sure there will be a few questions as the days go on but I am grateful that my son had the opportunity to have been friends and to have known this sweet little angel. I truly pray that I don't have to have a talk like this again with my young son. No parent should ever have to lose a child... especially not one this young. But it does happen and it happens more often than we realize. It's so easy to look past it when it's not someone you know. It's easy to have the mentality of "It will never happen to me" but the reality is, is this accident could have happened to anyone...

So, hug your kids a little longer and harder tonight. Always say I love you. And be grateful for the time that we have.

Prayers to the Henley family during this difficult time.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Boys Night.

Cohen had his first sleep-over at our house on Friday night with his cousin Vinny. What the heck took me so long to let him have a sleepover?! These things are GREAT! All I have to do is make sure there are snacks and drinks and they take care of themselves! God forbid if mom is anywhere near them. A Friday night of not having to figure out ways to entertain Co after E goes to bed?? Yes Please!

These two boys wore each other out! They played Xbox and rode bikes and scooters. They had battles outside with Nerf guns and built forts and pigged out on juice and fruit snacks. The entire night was pretty much amazing and a huge success.

Even Baby E got to hang out outside for a little while and show the big boys his skateboarding skills (he is pretty rad if I do say so myself). The kid has no fear when it comes to standing on that thing.
I love love love my creative, imaginative, intelligent little men. While there are definitely days where they do their best to get on every last nerve they possibly can, it's nights that these that make me so thankful for them and the innocence and fun that they are able to remind me of.

Friday, August 19, 2011

5 Year Old Words of Wisdom... episode 1

I have this amazing friend, Stacy, who has been acting as my nanny this entire summer while I have gone back to work. Stacy is, by definition, a survivor. She has overcome many obstacle throughout our short lives but just recently had another one thrown in her direction.

A move from Alaska back to Washington put a lot of strain on her relationship with her fiance (as it would any relationship) and just over a week ago, they decided to go their separate ways - for now.

Today, while I was at work my amazingly thoughtful son, Co, asked Stacy if she was alright... he must have noticed that she was looking a little sad. She tried to explain to him what heartbreak was and sadness and asked if he understood. His answer? "Yeah... I had a girl break up with me once...." Stacy replied with "Oh yeah? How did you get through it?" Cohen, "I don't know... I just did. I just did." This sweet little exchange of words brought a smile back to Stacy's face... I mean, who's heart wouldn't melt with that?

In the past two years, my son has watched me go through every emotion possible - with sadness being a huge one. As much as I would try to hide it from him, I have quickly come to realize, especially after today, that my own life experiences and the experiences that Cohen has witnessed have shaped him into a wonderful, caring, emotional human being. At five years old he already understands the emotions that us adults are constantly struggling with. He is becoming a man that I will be so proud of one day.

My blog.

So I decided to give my blog a little makeover. I have realized that my page gets viewed well over 500 times a month by family, friends and strangers around the world. It's my way of keeping family and friends up to date on our latest adventures but I have been told (and realized myself) that my life can be rather entertaining with storylines that seem to be straight out of daytime soap operas. SO... I have decided to make my blog less about photos of my kids and more about our stories/adventures and the insane-ness of being a single mom to two little monkeys. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One Word: VEGAS.

It is my honest opinion that single moms need to take breaks from their children. As a single mom, you are doing a two-person job alone - every single day. None of us ask to do this alone, but it is a path that we have, in the end, chosen for ourselves.

As much as I love my children and am devoted to them every single day, I took a much needed break this past weekend to remind myself that I am still young, beautiful, fun AND best of all single. And what better place to do this particular type of reminding but VEGAS!
One of my favorite people in the world, my amazing friend Rachell, was my partner in crime for this adventure. Rachell is one person that I know I can always lean on and rely on no matter what I need. She has held my hand through so much (particularly the past two years) and I couldn't think of a better person to help close such a huge chapter in my life.
Anyone who knows Vegas knows that you need a vacation from the vacation when you get home... but I believe that that is a sign of an amazing time! Rachell and I were total rock stars for 72 hours straight. Hitting up the strip, winning some Blackjack and partying at some of the hottest clubs. We even somehow managed to make it on the guestlist for The Bank Nightclub in the Bellagio; and while there, met up with a bachelor party and had our own private VIP room, bottle service and security... oh the life. I could get use to that kind of treatment.
By 3 a.m. our feet hurt, our livers hurt and we had a plane to catch in less than 4 hours. I'd say that the trip was a definite success and accomplished what we had set out to do... Remind, Recover and Reinvent. Don't ever let a single person change who you are... or moreover allow that one person's actions to bring you down so low that you forget who you are. And if there comes a time that you need a little reminder, grab your best girlfriend to remind you.
Again, we all need breaks. It doesn't mean you love your children any less or that you're a bad mom. It means that sometimes you just need a reminder of who you are as an individual... not just as a mom... and a reminder that there are a million other fishies in the sea!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Model Search!

I have entered both the boys into the PLACEkids Model Search for The Children's Place. I figured it was only appropriate that they attempt to become the next face of TCP since about 95% of the clothes in their closets are from there (and they look super cute on them too if I do say so myself). In the photos I posted for the contest, both boys are dressed head to toe in The Children's Place clothing. So, what I'm asking from all of you that take the time to read my blog, is to vote for each boy (they are listed in different age groups) and to also share these links with your friends! EVERY VOTE COUNTS!!!

VOTE FOR COHEN! Entry ID #74306

VOTE FOR ETHAN! Entry ID #74588


Monday, August 8, 2011


"Whatever we do lays a seed in our deepest consciousness, and one day that seed will grow" ~Sakyong Mipham

For every action, there is a reaction and only you are left to deal with the consequences. You can't rid yourself of one problem by immersing yourself with a distraction. Eventually the smoke will clear and you will see what you have done.

Karma always has a way of catching up.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


One of the best things about being a mom is watching your children learn new and exciting things... to watch them grow their little personalities. A couple of days ago, Ethan learned something new... he learned how to sing to Justin Bieber - and it has got to be one of the most adorable things I have ever heard in my life.

So Cohen was listening to his iPod and of course singing (at the top of his lungs nonetheless) "Baby Baby Baby ooohhhhh" when suddenly I hear this sweet little voice behind me singing "Baba oooh babaaa oooh". WAY too adorable.

Funny thing is, I have always had a feeling Ethan would be more artsy/musical than Cohen. They both have such different little personalities. Cohen is very athletic and has been ever since he could hold a ball. It just comes naturally to him. While Ethan, on the other hand, will turn anything into a drum -- and now apparently enjoys singing too.

I can't wait to see where both of these boys take me next!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A walk in the wild.

Ethan experienced his first visit to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle yesterday... his favorite exhibit? Definitely the monkeys. It's only appropriate that my little monkey would want to sit and watch the monkeys for as long as he could. Cohen's favorite was definitely the dinosaur exhibit... although he found a new favorite animal in the African Wild Dogs. We even took one home as a pet afterwards - stuffed, of course. The rainy weather even cleared up for us for a couple of hours! At the end of the day, we were all exhausted -- so exhausted that Baby E was passed out in his car seat before we even left the zoo parking lot!!

Ethan wasn't quite sure what to think of the enormous dinosaurs. Especially when some of them decided to spit on him and Cohen! Yes... spit.